At a news conference yesterday in Japan, Honda chief executive officer Takanobu Ito outlined the company's future plans to roll out advanced technology vehicles. Among the highlights: Ito revealed Honda will introduce both a mid-size plug-in hybrid and an electric commuter vehicle in the U.S. and Japan by the end of 2012. As part of the company's global push to develop more-efficient vehicles, Honda will also introduce a small diesel-powered car in Europe around the same time that its battery-powered vehicles hit our shores.
Honda will also begin testing "next-generation electric personal mobility products, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts" in the Kumamoto and Saitama regions in Japan before the end of 2010. The purpose of the tests is to verify "the effectiveness of next-generation personal mobility products with electromotive technologies," i.e., plug-in vehicles and how to best use renewable energy (solar) with these vehicles. Honda will test all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the U.S. once the Japan tests are underway. U.S.-based participants include Stanford University, Google Inc. and the City of Torrance, CA. Torrance will get a plug-in hybrid electric test vehicle by the end of this year. Honda said its first hybrid to get a lithium-ion battery will be the next-generation Civic Hybrid, coming in 2011. More details are available in the press releases after the jump.
[Source: Honda, Reuters]
Summary of Honda Announcements Regarding New Advanced Environmental Technologies
Honda will introduce new advanced environmental technology vehicles, including a battery-electric vehicle and a new plug-in hybrid vehicle, to the U.S. market in 2012, the company announced today in the mid-year address by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., President & CEO Takanobu Ito, in Tokyo, Japan. Ito also announced application of a lithium-ion battery in the next-generation Civic Hybrid in 2011.
The announcement outlined Honda's commitment to developing advanced environmental technologies for application across all of Honda's global operations. Highlights specifically related to the U.S. market include:
- By the end of 2010 and continuing through 2011, Honda will roll out a battery-electric vehicle demonstration program in the U.S. with participants, including: Stanford University, Google Inc. and the City of Torrance, Calif.
- The City of Torrance will receive a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for evaluation by the end of 2010.
- A battery-electric commuter vehicle will be introduced in the U.S. market in 2012.
- A new plug-in hybrid system for mid-size to larger vehicles will be introduced in the U.S. market in 2012.
- Honda's first hybrid application of a lithium-ion battery will debut in the next- generation Civic Hybrid to be introduced in 2011. The lithium-ion battery was developed through the Honda and GS Yuasa joint-venture company, Blue Energy Co., Ltd.
Honda to Begin Demonstration Tests of Next-Generation Personal Mobility before the End of the Year in Kumamoto and Saitama
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced plans to begin real-world demonstration testing before the end of this year of next-generation electric personal mobility products, including electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts. The demonstration program will be conducted jointly with Kumamoto and Saitama regions in Japan.
In a comprehensive approach unique to Honda to be conducted in collaboration with the two municipalities, Honda's electromotive technologies for motorcycles, automobiles and power products, together with information and communication technologies, a solar-powered energy station and other technologies will be utilised under the real-world urban transportation environment to address the following two agendas:
- Verification of the effectiveness of next-generation personal mobility products with electromotive technologies, specifically electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts, along with utilisation of sustainable energy such as solar power for the realisation of a low-carbon society in the future.
- Study of how future personal mobility and the urban transportation system should be designed to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life (QOL*) of local residents.
By partnering with Kumamoto and Saitama regions, where Honda operations including manufacturing plants are located and collaborative relationships already exist in various areas, Honda will strive to effectively conduct verification testing and make further contributions to both communities.
Honda is planning to conduct this demonstration first in Japan and then in regions outside Japan such as the U.S., mostly in the area of automobiles. In the U.S., starting by the end of this year, Honda will begin demonstration testing of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles with participants including Stanford University, Google Inc. and the City of Torrance, California under the Advanced Technology Demonstration Program.
*QOL (Quality of Life): A concept to measure to what extent people are living their lives in a humane manner and feeling not only physical but spiritual richness and happiness.
Concept of the next-generation personal mobility experiment
Outline of the experiment: Kumamoto region
Honda will verify the effectiveness of its electromotive technologies and information and communication technologies to realise a low-carbon mobility society and to improve the QOL of local residents in the face of an aging society. Prior to the start of the experiment, Honda and Kumamoto region will sign a framework agreement on the experiment of the next-generation personal mobility.
- Using experimental models of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as well as the EV-neo electric scooter, Honda will verify the effectiveness of such personal mobility to realise low-carbon mobility within the region.
- By monitoring the positional and operational information of participating Monpal ML200 electric carts, Honda will verify how such personal mobility will contribute to the QOL, especially the quality of the daily life and health of local residents in the face of an aging society.
- By establishing and utilising recharging stations that use thin-film solar cells manufactured by Honda Soltec, Honda will verify the effectiveness of the system which reduces CO2 from the energy-supply phase.
Utilising the function of InterNavi Pr emium Club, Honda's original interactive information network service for automobiles, Honda will provide information related to the recharging of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as well as information to support eco-driving.